The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government


  • Lisa Blomgren Bingham,

    1. Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service and director of the Indiana Conflict Resolution Institute (ICRI) at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The ICRI receives support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to conduct field research and program evaluation on dispute resolution, environmental conflict resolution, consensus building, and related processes. E-mail:
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Tina Nabatchi,

    1. Doctoral candidate in the public affairs program at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the research coordinator for the Indiana Conflict Resolution Institute. Her research interests include public management, public policy, and law, particularly in relation to conflict resolution, deliberative democracy, and sustainable development administration. E-mail:
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rosemary O'Leary

    1. Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, with additional appointments in political science and law, at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She received the 2004 Distinguished Research Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Administration and Affairs and the American Society for Public Administration. Her areas of research include public management, dispute resolution, environmental policy, and law. E-mail:
    Search for more papers by this author


Leaders in public affairs identify tools and instruments for the new governance through networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. We argue the new governance also involves people—the tool makers and tool users—and the processes through which they participate in the work of government. Practitioners are using new quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial governance processes, including deliberative democracy, e-democracy, public conversations, participatory budgeting, citizen juries, study circles, collaborative policy making, and alternative dispute resolution, to permit citizens and stakeholders to actively participate in the work of government. We assess the existing legal infrastructure authorizing public managers to use new governance processes and discuss a selection of quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial new governance processes in international, federal, state, and local public institutions. We conclude that public administration needs to address these processes in teaching and research to help the public sector develop and use informed best practices.